My Word Souffle Fell Flat

Exhibit 1: Colored pencil illustration for my entry in the "Lust" in Katydid's Seven Deadly Sins competition.  The post, thought by me to be the best one I'd done in the contest didn't even make it to the finals.  The drawing scored yawns from readers.
Exhibit 1: Colored pencil illustration for my entry in the “Lust” chapter in K8edid’s Seven Deadly Sins competition. The post, thought by me to be the best one I’d done in the contest, didn’t even make it to the finals. The drawing scored yawns from readers.  If you decide to click the links at the end, you may want to go back to the gluttony one first and read them in order.

I thought my last post was pretty good.  It had lots of great ingredients including a bubble-headed newscaster, Lady Gaga, Academy Awards and racial slurs.  In my book, that’s a can’t-lose recipe.  I tossed that crap in my handy WordPress Lazy Blogger Crock Pot®, set the timer and toddled off to work.  Eight hours later, I’d open the front door and be greeted by the savory aroma of delicious comments and a bountiful platter of steaming “likes”.  I knew better than to hope for any Freshly Pressed action – this post was discomfort food, not French-Asian fusion cuisine featuring fair-trade organic lemongrass and sustainable free-range snails [Food analogies inserted to whet the readers’ appetites and make blog writing seem as effortless for me as slow cooking.  Analogy of Freshly Pressed as some sort of trendy, politically-correct restaurant is due to my being a bitter man who can’t get a reservation]

In some people's eyes, these are nothing but miniature cabbages, but in the hands of a master chef, they can be steamed over simmering rice wine, garnished with a chiffonade of Thai basil and served in groups of 3 for $17.
In some people’s eyes, these are nothing but miniature cabbages, but in the hands of a master chef, they can be steamed over herbed rice wine, garnished with a chiffonade of Thai basil and served in groups of 3 for $17.

I followed the instructions to the letter, adding a little extra salt and a pinch of cayenne, then left for my day of toiling making the world a better place for special-needs youngsters [Shameless self-promotion inserted to make people feel crappy for not reading my last post]

Shameless self promotional shot of me helping my post-stroke, ass-paralyzed dog.  Disclaimer: I am not a licensed dog physical therapist and may have only done this to keep the pooch frm crapping in the house.  Good news, she's recovered the use of her ass, and is back to being ignored by me.
Shameless self-promotional shot of me helping my post-stroke, ass-paralyzed dog. Disclaimer: I am not a licensed dog physical therapist and may have only done this to keep the pooch from crapping in the house. Good news, she’s recovered the use of her ass end, and is back to annoying the daylights out of me.

I trudged through the door that night and rushed to turn on the laptop.  I was greeted with a mere four likes and a handful of comments from a few of my more ardent supporters.  Four likes?!  A fifth like showed up later, but it was clearly a “sympathy like” at best.  I responded to each and every comment, and waited patiently for the momentum to pick back up.  I jiggled the cord to make sure it was plugged in and touched the side to see if it had warmed up [Appliance malfunction analogy inserted to hint at my disappointment and grumbling stomach.  Grumbling stomach analogy inserted into aside to imply that I’ll starve without positive reinforcement.  Rushing to my laptop involved ignoring the greetings of both my long-suffering wife and gimpy-but-faithful dog]

It’s been too long now, there may be more likes trickling in and possibly a comment or two, but by this point, the post is buried and the expiration date on the topics has come and gone.  My post before that one was over at The Nudge Wink Report.  It had just a few words and was mostly comprised of cut-n-paste images of Kim Kardashian and her ample tushy being put in a bunch of silly places.  It was far from my best work and I was fully prepared to be accused of having “smart-phoned it in”.  Despite my doubts about the quality, the post got a butt-load of likes and a bumper crop of comments!  Mrs. Kanye West’s ass pasted onto my dog’s nose is apparently blog gold. [Kim and Kanye reference inserted to allow me to put them in my tags for this post with a clear conscience – thus increasing my hits exponentially.  Choice of using the words “butt load” and “bumper crop” in reference to ass-themed post responses was entirely intentional]

Kim's keister perched on a snifter of imperial stout?  Is this what it takes to get blog hits?
Kim’s keister perched on a snifter of imperial stout? Is this what it takes to get blog hits?

My first instinct, as a born pleaser, was to try to figure out what I’d done wrong.  Surely there were errors in my less successful post and some sort of mysterious appeal to the more popular one.  This is far from the first time I’d wondered what I’d done to displease the masses. [Self-reflection reference inserted to paint the author as being a little deeper than someone with an apparent fascination with Kim’s sizeable fanny might otherwise appear]

The bigger question eventually rises to the surface and sits there waiting to be acknowledged, like a turd in the punch bowl which can’t be ignored any longer.  Here it is; Who exactly am I writing for? [Rhetorical question inserted in hopes of eliciting cries of “Me, Dave! You’re writing for me – I simply can’t get enough of your snarky brilliance!”.  Turd in the punch bowl analogy inserted because, you know…poop humor]

I’ll be the first to admit that most of my blog posts are not exactly the stuff of literary artistry.  I have written a handful of serious posts and some marginally humorous fiction in the past, but my blog identity is largely that of a smart-ass commenting on the news and/or the idiocy of the world.  I enjoy making people laugh or even just smile.  I like the thought of being the sarcastic voice of people who are annoyed or amused by the goofiness of our world. [As if to imply that most folk simply can’t read news stories and shake their heads in amazement without checking for my two cents first.  You really should be insulted]

Insert photo of braying donkey here.  Great teeth, you jack-ass!
Insert photo of braying donkey here. Great teeth, you jack-ass!

If I’ve learned nothing else from drawing and writing, it’s that people are going to like what they like, and not necessarily what I find appealing.  The differing tastes and opinions of people is part of what makes the world go ’round. [Reference to my occasional drawing inserted to portray myself as something of a renaissance man, albeit one who had to try three times before finally spelling “renaissance” correctly.  Reference to “making the world go ’round” is a bold-faced lie – we all know damn well that people with poor taste should not be tolerated, and couldn’t have less to do with the rotation of a planet]

Bet you thought I was going to put the picture of the pig in the dress in here again, didn't you?  I'm not just a one trick pony, you know.
Bet you thought I was going to put the picture of the pig in the dress in here again, didn’t you? I’m not just a one trick pony, you know.  On a side note, I noticed some awful issues with this drawing, so I’ll probably never use it again.

Please don’t think this is some kind of a “Read my blog or I’m gonna quit” threat-fest. [Actually, that’s exactly what this is – you damn people better start coddling me a little or I’m going to take my mad writing skills over to the “Rants and Raves” section of the local Craigslist and hang out with the illiterate crowd.  They’ll appreciate me even less, but there’s no like button there, so I won’t know]

Here are a few links to some of the posts I mentioned – no obligation, I’m just happy you actually got to the end of the post:


Deadly Sins #1 Gluttony

DS #2 Envy

DS #3 Sloth

DS #4 Lust

Gaga-boo Music

Nudge Wink Kardashian cut-n-paste post




Put Some Sunblock On That Labradoodle’s Ass!

I know, a space suit right?  It'll keep him safe from gamma rays and he'll be able to sniff his own butt!  (Image from )
Forget the dopey sweater, I’m dressing my mutt in a spacesuit! It’ll keep him safe from gamma rays and protect me from his breath! (Image from Animation Library dot com)

There’s an old saying which goes something like this: Even the sun shines on a dog’s ass somedays.  Essentially it means that everyone gets lucky at some point or another.  Well guess who’s lucky today?  That’s right people – today is my day!  The blog-goddess Peg has bestowed the highest of honors upon yours truly!

She created a weekly feature on her blog which highlights a post that should have been Freshly Pressed on the front page of WordPress but was somehow overlooked.    Her weekly spotlight is shining on this dog’s ass today and my tail is wagging proudly.  After pressure from legions of followers, Peg has christened these snubbed gems as “Freshly Pegged”.  To the best of my knowledge, she has yet to receive any cease-and-desist notices from the corporate boys up at WordPress HQ.

If you’re not following Peg over at Peg-o-Leg’s Ramblings, there’s a good chance that your diet is lacking lierary fiber and the kind of homespun midwestern humor that’ll stick to your ribs.  In any case, as loyal lemmings of good old 1 Point himself, you are commanded to click on the link above to Peg’s place to see my post – that’s an order.  Wipe your feet and mind your manners while you’re there – don’t embarrass me, dammit!

The post of mine which Peg is featuring is my initial entry in The 7 Deadly Sins contest, hosted by the one and only k8edid.  Entries could be no more than 600 words, and had to include death and/or the threat thereof as well as a connection to the deadly sin of the week.  The deadly sin for this particular post was “gluttony”.  The title is “Willie Prader, Private Eye – Deadly Sin Series – A Glutton For Punishment“.  I drew the illustration in a pathetic attempt to improve my chances at winning and to distract readers from typos and holes in the plot.  While I did manage to win gluttony plus one more sin, I missed out on the Freshly Pressed brass ring.

k8edid’s blog is always packed with great writing; for example, she recently revealed that she’s not dead!  Please click on Peg’s link before k8edid’s – there are rules of etiquette which must be maintained.  We simply can’t have you people flitting around WordPress all willy-nilly.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to put on some Coppertone on my tail.

The 7 Deadly Sins Series – Crystal Light and the Look of Lust

Illustration by author

Crystal was around 14 when she first noticed men giving her what she called “the look”.  Before she reached 16, she fully understood that the look was one of sexual desire.  By 32, it was a simple fact of life.

While giving her order at the deli counter in the Shoprite, the guy in the apron and paper hat would glaze over, no longer hearing her.  He was stripping her naked and doing freaky things to her in his deli-guy mind.  Crystal would smile at him, lean over the counter a little, and end up with a pound of imported soprasetta for the price of baloney.

One man hadn’t given her the look in years.  They say marriage does that.  She didn’t know whether it was the years or the fact that Mr. Light had doubled in size since their wedding.  Everyone, including Crystal, called him Mr. Light, out of respect and fear.

She’d gone to see a private eye to help her discover if Mister was off his diet, but wasn’t in his office two minutes when the guy started giving her the look.  She re-crossed her legs and tried to ice him back to reality.  She hoped he’d returned from his porno mind-vacation as she handed him the cash.  Now the detective wouldn’t even return her calls.

Crystal changed her strategy and tried to get a young guy named Nicky from the pool to hang out with Mr. Light.  Maybe a guy who could see his own feet without mirrors would snap her husband out of the habit of stuffing his face.  She was talking with him to see if he’d pal around with Mr. Light when Nicky got the look.  She knew his brain was busy pulling off her bathing suit, touching her in  places which the sun hadn’t browned.  He wasn’t listening anymore. How many guys today?  She broke it down as simply as she could for him.

“Could you just take him out?” she finally asked.

Nicky looked stunned.  She thought she’d gotten through.  Satisfied she’d made her point, Crystal got up from the chaise lounge and walked to the snack bar to find Mister.  She could feel Nicky’s eyes on her.  She swayed her caboose a little to thank him for finally paying attention.

Mr. Light had just finished talking to that creepy pool manager with the missing thumb.  The amputee looked a little pale as he shuffled past Crystal like a zombie.  She gave silent thanks to the patron saint of pervs, as the troll didn’t try to sneak a glimpse down the front of her bathing suit like he usually did.  Mister was giving her a look, but not the look the other men did.  Not a good one.

That all was two weeks ago and nothing had changed, except her bruises fading slowly toward yellow.

She went down the driveway to pick up the newspaper, and saw a gun under the bushes.  She wondered if it was time to find a safer home as she picked it up and quickly wrapped it in the Inquirer.  She glanced around the still street before heading inside.

Mr. Light was asleep, making those choking sounds like he did.  A smile crept across Crystal’s full lips at the thought of him choking.  As she glanced down at the bruises on her arm, her eyes traveled further to the newspaper with the pistol inside.  She touched the cool metal, wondering if the police could miss her bruises.  She thought about a horny cop giving her the look and what he might do to help her get away with something.

The 7 Deadly Sins Series: Nick Valenti – Swim Club Gigolo

Nicky V. hustled.  He went to community college and worked at the bowling alley.  He’d been there long enough to be able to run the whole show.  He sprayed disinfectant in the rental shoes when he had to, but where he really shined was shmoozing the moms who came in to have birthday parties for their little brats.  He’d make sure the bumpers were up and that they kept off the hardwood with the pizza and soda.  Nick couldn’t help but look at those moms with their shiny SUV’s and wish he had some better wheels.

In the summer months, business fell off at the alley and Nicky worked over at the Delcrest Swim Club.  His cousin Jimmy “One Thumb” Valenti was officially the manager, but Nicky did the work.  Jimmy just picked up a check – nine fingers or not, he had no problem with that skill.  Nicky should be so lucky.

Nick was a bit of a player with the lovely young ladies at the pool.  This summer was different.  Nicky was tired of the teenagers, he had his eye on bigger game.

Nicky figured the woman was in her 30’s, and she had him in some kind of trance.  She was built like a centerfold.  Strippers should have studied the way she moved.  Her name was Crystal Light, just like the diet drink mix.  Funny, because her old man looked like he’d never been within a mile of lo-cal anything.  Nicky looked at that fat slob and dreamed of having his life.  As if having a knockout like Crystal wasn’t enough, the round man owned a classic Caddy.  It drove Nicky crazy that this guy had it all, and more chins than a Chinese phonebook.

When Crystal started chatting with Nicky down by the diving well, he thought maybe she was going to hit him up to work on the Caddy.  The trunk lock had been popped and it was held closed with clothesline.  He couldn’t believe that tub of Beefaroni would drive a number like Crystal around a classic car rigged like that.  Where was the justice?

He was trying so hard to look cool that he wasn’t sure he heard her right.  She smiled, then turned and walked away to find her husband at the snack bar.  Nicky tried to recall her exact words, but the sight of her walking away wasn’t helping his thought process.  He was convinced that she wanted Mr. Light turned off for good.

Nick was no murderer, but he kept imagining driving the Caddy with Crystal snuggled up against him.  He pictured himself pulling into the driveway of the Light’s split level over on Belmont Terrace.  He deserved that life.  He’d do it.

That’s how he found himself crouching in a cluster of  rhododendrons at the edge of Light’s property, his fingers sweating as his grip tightened on the handle of the gun he’d lifted from One Thumb’s desk at the swim club.  That 500-pounder-with-cheese was bound to come out of his house eventually, and Nicky would be waiting, swatting mosquitoes.

Nick felt the presence but didn’t even have a chance to turn around before the bowling pin cracked across the back of his skull and knocked him into dreamland.

The man stood over Nick, wearing torn jeans and a badly scuffed leather jacket, scrapes on his hands and face.

He said, “Sorry kid, but there’s already a line formed for guys who want to kill that fat bastard.”

Willie Prader pulled out a Lucky and leaned back down into the shadows of the bushes to light it without being seen.